301: Hiking Mt Elgon and Sipi Falls

Ref: 301, 8 days

301: Hiking Mt Elgon and Sipi Falls

$2275 per person

Hike to Mount Elgon’s Wagagi Summit and visit Sipi Falls, enjoying the spectacular views and the diverse flora and fauna of Mount Elgon National Park.

Named after the extinct volcano that dominates the landscape, Mount Elgon National Park lies on the Kenya-Uganda border. The caldera caused by the collapse of the volcanic cone is known to be the world’s largest.  This impressive feature can be seen from the summit of Wagagi, the mountain’s highest peak in the park at 4,321m. You will take the famous and spectacular Sasa trail climb, leading you through farmland, forest and heather country before emerging onto the edge of the caldera itself. Then you will follow the rim to the summit and return to Sipi falls.

 

Highlights

  • See the world’s largest caldera and enjoy spectacular views of the vegetation cover.
  • Go off the beaten track and experience the undiscovered East!

 

Overview

Day 1: Travel to Kapchorwa – Sipi Falls.
Day 2: Start your trek, hiking one of Africa’s spectacular volcanic mountains
Day 3: Second day ascending
Day 4: And here you go, reach the summit
Day 5: Learn about the flora and fauna as you descend
Day 6: Arrive at Sipi River Lodge. Relax
Day 7: Relax in your lodge. Optional: Nature and community walk
Day 8: Depart. Return to Entebbe.

 

 

When is the best time of year to visit Uganda?

Although Ugandan seasons have become less predictable in recent years, peak seasons usually coincide with dry seasons. When choosing your dates consider:

  • Uganda is an all-year round destination with a pleasant climate and temperatures averaging in the mid 20s0C. The huge variety in altitude means temperatures vary around the country (but this also means increased biodiversity J)
  • Flight prices often increase in European holiday seasons
  • There are fewer tourists in low seasons so you can have the place to yourselves!
  • Many hotels offer all-year prices so the price of your visit may not change much between seasons
  • Most major roads going from the capital, Kampala, up-country are tarmac. Conditions on murram roads may worsen slightly in rainy season
  • Rainy season can be good for birding as there is more food (bugs) available
  • If you are targeting certain birds, ask our advice on breeding, migration seasons
  • If you plan to climb the Rwenzori mountains, ask our advice about the best times
  • Hiking may be better in dry seasons.

 

Please note

Permits are required to track gorillas. The minimum ages is 15 years. Gorilla permits are limited to eight people per gorilla family. Permits are also required to track chimps and the minimum age is 12 years.

Please read the information about primate tracking on our primates web page and remember to look at our suggested packing list.

 

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1
Day 1: Travel to Kapchorwa – Sipi Falls
A Venture Uganda representative will pick you from your hotel for the journey to Mount Elgon in eastern Uganda, a scenic 5-hour journey past Mabira Forest and on to Mbale town, where you will spend the night. Rest and prepare to start your trek the next day.
Accommodation: Mbale Resort
Meals B, L, D
2
Day 2: Start your trek, hiking one of Africa’s spectacular volcanic mountains
After an early breakfast, you will be driven to the trail-head at Budadiri/Bumasola, and from there you start your ascent. This is a short, but quite challenging trek up. Enjoy the scenery and rest up at Sasa River camp. (6km walking distance; 1,770m – 2,900m elevation)
Camping: Sasa River Camp
Meals B, L, D
3
Day 3: Second day ascending
Set off from Sasa River and make your way to Mude camp to rest and prepare for your trek to the summit at Wagagai the following day. (6km walking distance; 2,900m – 3,500m elevation).
Camping: Mude Camp
Meals B, L, D  
4
Day 4: And here you go, reach the summit
Leave Mude camp for the summit at Wagagai and then hike back to camp at Mude (18km total walking distance; 3,500m – 4,321m. If you are fit and making good time then there are options to hike via Jacksons Peak on your way back (4,165m). You can also walk to the falls near Mude, or just chill out and enjoy the campsite.
Camping: Mude Camp
Meals B, L, D  
5
Day 5: Learn about the flora and fauna as you descend
Descend via the Sipi trail, stopping to rest at either Kajere camp (22km walking distance; 3,383m elevation) or Tutum camp (34km walking distance; 2,667m elevation). The Sipi trail allows a traverse of the caldera and a visit to the hot springs.
Camping: Kajere/Tutum Camp
Meals B, L, D
6
Day 6: Arrive at Sipi River Lodge. Relax
Hike your way from either Kajere or Tutum camp, all the way back to Sipi River Lodge walking distance (16km/28km); 1,795m ending elevation). A peaceful and quiet environment awaits you. Enjoy a hot shower then relax; read a book, rest or sit back with a drink for your evening. You’ve earned it!
Accommodation: Sipi River Lodge
Meals B, L, D
7
Day 7: Relax in your lodge. Optional: Nature and community walk
You may prefer to relax at your lodge and enjoy the beautiful surroundings close to hand, but there is the opportunity to hike the beautiful Sipi waterfalls and go on a nature and community walk and learn about the community, their lifestyle and culture before travelling back to Kampala.
Accommodation: Cassia Lodge
Meals B, L, D
8
Day 8: Depart. Return to Entebbe.
Enriched with an experience of a lifetime and unforgettable memories, you will say goodbye to the Pearl of Africa. Depending on the time of your flight, explore Kampala’s African craft village and have lunch in Kampala or Entebbe, before your guide takes you to the airport for your flight.  
Meals B, L, D
Please note: all timings and routings are approximate and subject to change at short notice.

Guide price: From USD 2,275 per person

Based on 2 adults, sharing a double room in mid-range accommodation and travelling in a safari Land Cruiser.

 

The price for every safari depends on the number of people travelling, their ages, the time of year, whether or not international flights are included, the type of transport and accommodation used and the activities undertaken.

 

We calculate according to the specific dates of your booking because after we publish our itineraries some things may change. For example, hotels may increase their prices, the government may introduce new taxes or some discounts may become available. Unfortunately, we also have to pass on surcharges imposed on us by, for example, airlines when fuel prices or airport taxes are unexpectedly increased.

 

We would be happy to prepare a quotation, based on your requirements. We normally include most costs in the price so all you need to bring with you is ‘pocket money’ for items like drinks, tips and personal shopping e.g. souvenirs.

Price includes

Full-board, non-air-conditioned accommodation

Private safari vehicle with driver and fuel for this itinerary

All entrance and other fees for the activities included in the itinerary

Mineral water in transit

All government taxes

Price does not include

International flights

Visas

Travel insurance

Personal expenses: alcohol, laundry services and souvenirs

Tips (normally 5–10% and around $10 per day for your guide).